The Price of US Specialty Foods: Not on my peso!


Not long ago I wrote an article about how expats here in Mexico can easily live for $1,000 USD per month. One of the things I touched on was not shopping at specialty stores and instead, buying things like food at more local places. Well turns out my words may be worth $1,000 after all. Or at least 225 peso without even having to go to a specialty store.

I was jaw-dropped the other day when I was shopping at Chedraui here in Playa del Carmen. As I made my way around the isles, I was keeping my eyes open for cranberry sauce since it’s nearing Thanksgiving (for us Canadians). When I finally spied the words Ocean Spray along a small top-shelf section of canned goods, I let out a small squeal.

The Price of Import Foods: Not on my dime!

While I was pretty darn happy to have found the cranberry sauce, the squeal was for the price I saw beneath a jar of Jif Almond

Butter. I still cannot believe it, but this is one product that’s an excellent example of why it’s important to integrate into Mexico culture and food as much as possible. If you can afford to pay nearly $19 USD for a small plastic container of Jif that costs $6.98 in the US, then by all means. However, for those of us who live and work here earning peso, forget it.

It’s not that I can’t afford it, but more that I would just never pay that (sorry Jif!). While the product is good, the price is a reflection of the enormous amount of import taxes for a non-Mexican product. Next to the Jif is local peanut butter (not a no-name brand, but a local Mexican brand) for 44.90 peso (approximately $2.81 USD) for the same 340g jar, a price that is much more in my range and is one of the reasons I can easily live here for under $1,000 a month.

Love, Roaming Canadian